Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Private Practice

Do any of you watch this show? I blame Ryan. Really. He had it on a couple times, and we've been watching it since (for the past month maybe?).

So, the last week's show was a little controversial, to say the least. I was kind of surprised they went there. It was about vaccinations. They had a parent that vaccinated one child, that child ended up being autistic, and she refused the vaccinate the younger two. Then the middle one got the measles and actually died. She still refused to vaccinate the youngest, and in the end, the dr just did it (after the other child passed away). It was well played out with the actors. I mean this in the sense that they didn't treat the issue as being one where the mother was irrationally overprotective. She was clearly doing what she thought was best for her children. But I was still surprised with how they did it and with the end result of the dr simply taking over and vaccinating the child without consent. I wonder how many watchers they lost after airing this episode.

But that's not why I'm posting about the show. No, the reason was this week's show. This time around, there was a single father and two young children, all with cystic fibrosis. The older child had some infection and was going to die. The father could not be with her, or else he would die, as well. So he basically had to choose - die with the daughter or live with the son, who was maybe 2 years old. They had no other family around, just the three of them. The daughter would cry for her father to be with her, and for most of the show, he held his son as they watched her through a glass wall. In the end, he handed the boy over to the dr and went in to be with the daughter, knowing he was leaving his son alone. In essence, he was abandoning him. The son reached out to the father, crying for him as dad went in to hug and hold his daughter, never to return to the son.

This had me upset all night long. It was all I could think about. Yes, this is just a show. I'm aware of that. But I'm sure similar situations have been a reality for a number of parents. It's never fun to have to choose between your chidren, but when it is really a matter of life or death and you have to choose to die with one and abandon the other or live with one and let the other die alone...that's devestating.

I have to disagree with the choice he made, though. While it would be incredibly difficult to watch one child die while you can't be near her, the other child has his whole life to live with your choice. If you spend those last days/hours/minutes with the dying child and die with her, the other child will spend his entire life dealing with the effects of that decision. How impossible would that be? I can see this being played out years later and the child becoming an adult and still having to deal with this. (The social worker/psychologist in me, perhaps?) I'm not going to go on and on and on about all of my feelings about this topic. I know it would be an impossible decision. But I spent a LOT of time thinking on this after watching this show (and being somewhat angry about it, too). I'm sure that while going through something like this, it would be nearly impossible to think past the moment. Like someone on the show said, the father was dealing with the possibility of his son living but the reality of his daughter dying. What was happening at that very moment was right in front of his eyes, while the other part of the equation was abstract.

So, I'm curious. What do some of my readers (however many of you there are) think about this. Or do you even want to go there? Well, really - who does!?! That's a ridiculous question.

I found out you can actually vote for which decision you believe would be the better one here. Apparently, it's about half and half right now. Just 52% think the character should have stayed with his son to care for him. But like I said, it's an impossible situation. Pretty much lose-lose.

I'm ready for a more light-hearted episode, I do believe.


Samara said...

It's just a TV show--one that I've never gotten in to. I know the situations are complex and hard to process with difficult subject matter but for the sake of your sanity, they are not worth over analyzing. I have to remind Aaron of this when we watch Law and Order. He will get angry watching the courtroom scenes. "She has no grounds to object!" "The D.A. is testifying, instead of asking questions." "Why isn't any one objecting to that line of questioning!" It gets to the point where he's yelling at the TV. And I have to ask him to calm down that it's only a TV show.
Not that I haven't gotten mad about where TV shows have taken the show. For example, I was heated while watching LOST and they just moved the island. What is that junk?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I watch this show, I'm addicted to it, along with Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives. Private Practice does seem to deal with controversial subjects though. I usually don't think about it that much, because it is just a show, but now that you mention it, each week has really focused on a deep subject. One week, they dealt with abortion.
But yeah, even though I don't put a whole lot of thought into it- these shows are just my realease from reality- this episode did get to me too. It was upsetting, I definetly agree with you that he made the wrong choice. The son had the rest of his life, and needed a parent. Or even I was thinking, why can't they put the father in protective gear, a super mask or something, just so he could be with his daughter and comfort her! And yes, a more light-hearted episode would be nice, but I don't know if we'll get it or not- this season, they seem to want to push controversial subjects. But we'll see! At least they do inject some humor into each episode!